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The Fourth Dimension

The Dalek Invasion of Earth


Doctor Who and the Daleks (1965), the first big screen outing for the metal monsters, had been such a success that a sequel was released the following year. The story for Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. was based on Terry Nation’s script for the similarly named TV serial. Peter Cushing once again starred as ‘Doctor Who’ and was joined this time by Bernard Cribbins who played PC Tom Campbell. Cribbins would return to Doctor Who many years later as Wilfred Mott, grandfather of Donna Noble.


The Daleks have evolved since their first appearance and are now no longer limited to travelling on the metal floors of their city. In a slight design modification, they are seen sporting metal discs on the back of the mid-section of their casings which they use to receive the power that allows them to move. They also have much larger ‘fenders’ on the bottom of their casings.


Although not quite the first time that Doctor Who had been filmed on location (see The Reign of Terror), this was the first time that it had been done so extensively. The Daleks are seen gliding around Trafalgar Square, the Albert Memorial, over Westminster Bridge and emerging from the Thames. Filming also took place in Wembley, Bermondsey and Hammersmith for other London locations as well as a quarry in Kent (the first of many to be used on the series) that became the Dalek mine workings.


Following an accident during the making of episode three in which he hurt his back, William Hartnell was unavailable for episode four. To cover his absence, the Doctor is seen (from behind) to suddenly succumb to an illness. So, it’s left to resistance fighter, David Campbell to take the Doctor’s share of the plot and defuse a Dalek bomb.


This story marks the first time that one of the regular characters departs the series. At the end of the story, once the Doctor and his friends have returned to London, the Doctor deliberately locks Susan out of the TARDIS. He knows that she has fallen in love with David Campbell but that her loyalty to him won’t allow her to stay on Earth. So the Doctor makes the decision for her and bids her an emotional farewell. The speech that the Doctor gives to Susan will later be used as a prologue for The Five Doctors in 1983.


Susan was originally to have been replaced by a young Indian girl called Saida. However, this part eventually became Jenny who appeared in only this adventure.


We meet the Black Dalek for the first time. He represents the ultimate Dalek authority on Earth and is also known as the Supreme Controller.


The Doctor and Ian discover a calendar in a disused warehouse for the year 2164. This has led many people to assume that this is the year in which the adventure takes place. However, this is by no means certain as the calendar could have been in the warehouse for years.


The Black Dalek keeps an unpleasant pet known as the Slyther which he allows to roam the mine workings at night. Ian encounters the creature and manages to push it down a mineshaft. The production team were unhappy with the appearance of the Slyther so it was shot in such a way that we see it only very briefly during the episode.


The Dalek Invasion of Earth was released on DVD in 2003 as a two disc set. As well as the specially restored six episodes of the TV serial, the release includes commentaries from William Russell (Ian), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Verity Lambert (Producer) and Richard Martin (Director); optional new CGI effects, a documentary about the making of the serial, a look at how the Daleks’ voices were created; and a look at the locations of the story and how they appear today.


The full soundtrack to the serial, along with linking narration by William Russell and Dalek voices by Nicholas Briggs, has been released on CD and for MP3 download by BBC Audio.

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